Trade War 2.0: How the Stimulus' "Buy American" Provisions Are Killing Jobs
The Wash Post has a story on a new wave of protectionism that is built into stimulus spending:
The new buy American provisions, the company said, are being so broadly interpreted that Duferco Farrell is on the verge of shutting down. Part of an increasingly global supply chain that seeks efficiencies by spreading production among multiple nations, it manufactures coils at its Pennsylvania plant using imported steel slabs that are generally not sold commercially in the United States. The partially foreign production process means the company's coils do not fit the current definition of made in the USA—a designation that the stimulus law requires for thousands of public works projects across the nation.
In recent weeks, its largest client—a steel pipemaker located one mile down the road —notified Duferco Farrell that it would be canceling orders. Instead, the client is buying from companies with 100 percent U.S. production to meet the new stimulus regulations. Duferco has had to furlough 80 percent of its workforce.
"You need to tell me how inhibiting business between two companies located one mile apart is going to save American jobs," said Bob Miller, Duferco Farrell's executive vice president. "I've got 600 United Steel Workers out there who are going to lose their jobs because of this. And you tell me this is good for America?"
The Buy American provisions have already caused friction between the U.S. and Canada, as American buyers turn from Canuck suppliers, and vice versa.